Can I get fired while I seek mental health treatment?

UPDATED: Sep 8, 2011

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Can I get fired while I seek mental health treatment?

I had an emotional outburst with my manager. I was red faced and crying but no cursing or threats. She sent me home afterwards to calm down. When I came back to work, I told her that I recently was diagnosed with ADD and General Anxiety Disorder by a Psychiatrist and starting medication to level off my mood. She told me she felt the job may be too stressful for me and that my behavior was unprofessional and fired me. Do I have any protection under ADA?

Asked on September 8, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You *may* have a claim, but here are the issues:

1) Is your condition--as you have it; e.g. at that level or intensity--considered a disability. Not all conditions or mental health issues are. Whether it would be considered a disabilty depends on not just the diagnosis but the treatment prognosis, abilty to control it, and impact on your life.

2) Can your condition (assuming it is a disability) be accomodated at work without too much disruption or cost? While employers cannot discriminate agains the disabled, they only have to make reasonable accomodations, and if it would be impractal or too expensive or too disruptive to have you work there, they don't need to employ you.

As you can see, these are fact-intensive issues; you should consult with an employment attorney to see how the rules apply to your specific situation. Good luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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